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How To Prepare Your Small Business For The Christmas Period

It may only be November, but many organizations will have been making preparations for Christmas for several months and while as a small business owner you may think it’s still a way off, you need to ensure that you have a clear plan for the Christmas period.

Although there are numerous aspects that need to be considered, the three discussed here should allow for you to cover the basics in any Christmas preparations.

1.  Staffing

When you’re the owner of a large business, it generally won’t be a problem if you want to take the entire Christmas period off, as you’ll have staff available to cover if need be.

With small businesses, however, this isn’t always the case and therefore you need to spend a lot of time ensuring that you not only have enough staff to cover in your absence (assuming you want to take the time off), but that they’re willing to work when you’re not.

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2.  Sales

As a small business, you’re always doing your utmost to drive sales forward and with January naturally a slow period in terms of sales, it’s always important that you can take as much money as possible on the lead up to Christmas.

Therefore, when you’re planning Christmas and time off, you have to ensure that it’s not to the detriment of your business – everyone needs a break, but you need to be certain you’re open enough to continue to make sales.

3.  Customer expectations

For any business, customers are the most important aspect, as without them, a business can’t survive.

Due to this, it’s strongly recommended that you look at your customers’ buying habits – not just with your business, but within the industry as a whole – and determine when they’re expecting you to be open, as this can play a large role in your planning and preparation.

For example, if you’re a service based business whose customers are also service based, should your customers be taking the whole of Christmas off, there’s no reason why you can’t either.

If your customers are the general public, however – if you’re a retail store, for instance – you may actually make a substantial number of sales immediately after Christmas Day, due to the many sales which are so often prominent around the world.

Each and every organization is different and therefore there are no generic Christmas plans that you can follow.  However, with the right preparations, you should be able to construct a plan for the Christmas period that works perfectly for your small business.

This post was originally published on November 16, 2011.

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